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CVER Research Paper
Variation in Parenthood Wage Effect: A human capital approach
Maria Petrillo
May 2022
Paper No' CVERDP037:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: motherhood; fatherhood; wage penalty; gender; inequality; education.

Using German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) microdata this paper contributes new empirical evidence by examining the implications of motherhood and fatherhood for wages of a sample of women and men between 2005-2015. Making use, for the first time for this research question, of a difference-in-differences approach, the study uncovers inequalities among women and men in terms of parenthood wage effects. Moreover, the study takes this analysis a step further and investigates additional possible correlations between educational background (vocational versus general background) and motherhood wage gaps by exploiting, for the first time, the difference between skills acquired through a vocational educational path versus those developed following a general one, as one of the keys factors to help to shed light on the motherhood wage gap. Results support the idea that women with a vocational background suffer from a wider motherhood wage penalty if compared to those women having a general background, which is likely due to the higher rate of vocational skills depreciation.